This week is my birthday week, and I’m turning 39.
About a month later, my husband and I packed all our stuff, emptied our rental apartment and boarded a fight with two toddlers to a country we’d never been to start a new chapter of our life.
Ten years prior, just a few days after my 29th birthday, I took one suitcase and one backpack to board a flight to Switzerland by myself. I bid goodbye to a wonderful working environment of six years, beloved coworkers, family and friends to be a student again. I thought I’d stay for a few months but ended up getting married, having babies and living there for nine years.
We face many transitions in life. Some are unexpected or unwelcome, but some are our decisions. And to start something new in life always comes from a decision.
Many have doubts and fears about starting anything new, whether moving to another country, taking a new job, starting a new relationship, creating a business, learning to drive in your 30s, or even picking up a hobby.
Will my family or I adjust well in a new country?
Will I get used to a new culture?
Will I get along with the new staff and working environment?
Will I screw up this relationship?
Will I make money in my business?
Am I qualified?
I’m too old or too young.
I’m too busy and tired with the young kids.
The list goes on and on. We are afraid to cross that threshold and enter into something new. My friend, if it’s you, you are not alone. However, we will have to make a yes or no decision at the end of the day. This decision is probably not sudden, and we would have given ample time to consider it. And our fear mostly comes in during the consideration of it. Sometimes, the more we think about it, the more we feel afraid.
My friend, I want to share something I learned in finding the courage to start new things.
As I shared, I’ve had many opportunities to become a beginner again in the past decade. I started to learn to drive at 35 and got my driver’s license at 38. I began to learn watercolour painting at 36 and registered my art business at 38. I became a mom, moved to another country and learned adobe illustrator for designing repeating patterns. And so much more.
Was I scared when I took on a new thing? Absolutely. Was I worried when I moved with my husband and young children across the world to a place unknown and started our life from scratch? No doubt.
However, there are some questions I asked myself and the answers propelled me to keep saying yes to the opportunities and changes in my life:
If I say no to this, will I limit myself from growth? Does it feel like freedom?
If I say yes, will it open up possibilities and require growth?
You see, growth is what we are after, not results. Results that only matter temporarily is the byproduct of authentic growth. Say I made 1000 USD in my art business this month, which would be a big deal and a great result. But that result would only matter that month, and the money would eventually be spent. But I get to keep the growth that happened in the process of getting to that result through consistent, good work, and I would become a better person in doing the work and have a better contribution to the world.
My friend, this “growth mindset” kept me from overcoming my fear of starting anything new. I hope you find it helpful and apply it to your own decision-making.
If you have difficulty identifying the next right endeavour to pursue or struggling to find your current life’s purpose, dear friend, you are not alone. I was there a few years ago! Today, I’ve come out of that seeking phase, moving on in my calling with clarity and confidence. I created an ebook called Listen to Your Life to help you just do that! You can learn more about it here.
Until next time!